SR-22 in Virginia
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Drivers who are convicted of serious traffic violations in Virginia may be required to hold an SR-22 certificate in order to reinstate their suspended license. While commonly referred to as SR-22 insurance, this certificate is actually not insurance at all, but acts as proof that the driver holds the minimum auto insurance required by their state. In Virginia, however, some circumstances may necessitate an FR-44, which involves much more severe consequences than the standard SR-22 forms used across other states.
What is “SR-22 insurance?”
Contrary to popular belief, SR-22 forms are not insurance at all. Rather, an SR-22 form is a special certificate that is filed with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles which signifies that you hold the minimum auto insurance required by your state. Virginia generally uses the form FR-44 for more severe situations, which may be issued to drivers who:
- Have unsatisfied judgements
- Fail to provide proof of insurance
- Operate a motor vehicle without insurance
- Falsify auto insurance certifications
- Are convicted of vehicular manslaughter
- Commit perjury regarding vehicle registration or a valid driver’s license
- Commit a felony that involves a motor vehicle
- Are involved in a hit-and-run
- Are convicted of maiming under the influence, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, driving with a suspended license, or found guilty in any juvenile case
To receive an SR-22 certificate in Virginia, drivers will first need to provide proof of financial responsibility. This is typically done by obtaining a high-risk insurance policy. Once you have a qualifying insurance policy in place, notify your carrier of the SR-22 requirement. After they have completed the form, they should submit it to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, where it remains on-file for at least three consecutive years.
SR-22 Virginia alternatives
If the violation you committed is particularly severe, Virginia may issue what’s known as an FR-44. These certificates are for violations involving maiming under the influence, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, or being convicted in any juvenile case. Depending on the state in which you live, you may be required to file an SR-44 or alternative in accordance with your state’s guidelines. The following outlines the different forms similar to SR-22s that may be required:
|Form||States issued||Required insurance minimums|
|SR-22||All states except Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania||Insurance minimums by state|
|FR-19||Delaware and Maryland||
Delaware: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage
Maryland: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident/$15,000 per property damage
|SR-21||Hawaii||$20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage|
|SR-22A||Georgia||$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$25,000 per property damage|
|FR-44||Florida and Virginia||
Florida: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident/$50,000 per property damage
Virginia: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident/$40,000 per property damage
|SR-50||Indiana||$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage|
- FR-19: These forms are issued in Delaware and Maryland, and serve to verify that the driver currently holds the minimum insurance required by their state. Unlike SR-22s, which are required for drivers who have been convicted of more serious driving violations, FR-19 forms simply act as verification of coverage.
- SR-21: Unique to Hawaii, SR-21 forms certify that drivers have the minimum liability insurance required by the state. Drivers who have committed a DUI or multiple moving violations may be required to file an SR-21 form.
- SR-22A: In Georgia, drivers seeking to reinstate their suspended license may need to file the Georgia Safety Responsibility Insurance Certificate known as an SR-22A. These certificates are required to remain in effect for at least three consecutive years from the date of your conviction.
- FR-44: Virginia drivers may be penalized more severely with an FR-44 depending on the type of violation they commit. Only used in Virginia and Florida, these forms increase the minimum coverage requirements for high-risk drivers dramatically. In Virginia, those required to hold an FR-44 are obligated to hold at least double the minimum auto insurance required in the state.
- SR-50: An SR-50 form is issued only in Indiana if the state notifies you that you are required to hold such a certificate. Usually, drivers receive notification if they are found to be driving without the minimum required insurance or if they have had their license suspended.
If you have received an SR-22 requirement, but no longer — or do not currently — own your own vehicle and still wish to reinstate your license, you’ll likely need to obtain a non-owners auto insurance policy. A non-owners auto insurance policy is issued to drivers who do not own the vehicle they operate. This form certifies that you have the minimum state-required auto insurance under a non-owners insurance policy, enabling you to fulfill the requirements of an SR-22.
FR-44 in Virginia
If a driver commits a particularly serious offense in Virginia, they may be required to hold an FR-44. An FR-44 is different from an SR-22 in that it requires drivers to hold twice the minimum required auto insurance in the state. FR-44s are required for the following convictions:
- Maiming while under the influence
- Driving while under the influence of drugs/alcohol
- Driving while the driver’s license has been forfeited for a conviction, or a guilty conviction in a juvenile case
- Violation of the provisions of any federal law or law of any other state or any valid local ordinance similar to the aforementioned violations
When a driver is required to hold an FR-44 in Virginia, they must have the following insurance coverage limits in place:
- $50,000 per person
- $100,000 per accident
- $40,000 per property damage
SR-22 Virginia insurance costs
Drivers considered to be high-risk typically pay higher premiums for their car insurance than drivers who have a clear driving record. Additionally, there are other expenses associated with being a high-risk driver such as fines and court costs. For example, Virginia drivers who must file a SR-22 or FR-44 are charged between $15 and $35 for a filing fee. However, the impacts to insurance premiums are directly related to the violation that prompted the SR-22 requirement rather than the SR-22 itself.
If your requirement is due to having a DUI in Virginia, your insurance premium could increase significantly. In some cases, a DUI may disqualify you for standard coverage from your insurance company. In this event, you may need to purchase coverage from a provider specializing in high-risk car insurance. Because an FR-44 requires drivers to hold double the minimum coverage amount, another impact to your insurance may be the cost associated with increasing your policy limits. As a high-risk driver, the best way to secure the most affordable rate is to maintain good driving habits and get quotes from several different companies before making a decision.
Frequently asked questions
In most cases, SR-22 certificates are required to be active for three consecutive years following the date of the driver’s conviction or qualifying incident.
The first step to filing for an SR-22 certificate in Virginia is to find a high-risk auto insurance policy. After you’ve obtained a policy, inform your carrier of the SR-22 or FR-44 requirement and have them file the certificate with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The forms should remain on-file for at least three consecutive years from the date of your conviction.
“SR-22 insurance” is a misnomer. SR-22s act solely as proof that the driver possesses the minimum auto insurance required by Virginia state law. In Virginia, the cost to file an SR-22 certificate ranges between $15 and $35 depending on a few factors. Because drivers holding an SR-22 are more likely to be considered high-risk, insurance carriers may charge more in premiums.
The minimum amount of auto insurance required in Virginia is $25,000 liability coverage per person, $50,000 per accident and $20,0000 in property damage. Typically written as 25/50/20, this amount is the lowest coverage available in order to satisfy state requirements and proof of insurance for an SR-22. If you are required to file an FR-44, your policy limit requirements are doubled.